At a time when baser instincts, brutality at its worst, crimes of the most atrocious types are browbeating society, even the most optimistic souls sink. As the country's premier engineering university is discredited for turning at least some among the brightest corps of students into mindless butchers, thanks to their and the authority's political association, civilised society hangs its head in shame. If students do not learn how to cultivate fellow feeling, humanity and enlightenment, merit reduces just into an evil genius. Society suffers more than it benefits from such talents or geniuses.
If the saga of brutality perpetrated at this so-called advanced level of society shows no sign of coming to an end, the bottom level is no less inured to bestiality and villainy. Just one incident from Sunamganj was enough to produce nausea in any well-meaning soul. Father, uncle and brother, according to the police investigating the case, butchered a boy and then dismembered his ears, genital before sticking two knives into his abdomen and leaving it hanging from a tree. Why? It was meant to pass the murder on to their rivals and thus exact revenge.
These two representative incidents of utmost criminality are enough to turn a person averse to or produce loathing at modern society. Trust in humanity receives a serious blow. But each day monstrosity makes its rounds in sickening forms and frequency. All such incidents can drive someone mad if one is sensitive enough. But it seems most people have developed a kind of insensitivity to such ugly and brutal happenings.
Does it mean everything is lost for society we live in? No, there are people who carry on their noble mission without caring a fig for publicity. A leading Bangla contemporary is on the lookout for presenting them before its readers. The number of such selfless people devoting themselves to the cause of well-being of the poor, the neglected and the hapless is not negligible either. When a man starts nursing abandoned old and infirm people and gradually builds a shelter for them with his own modest income, his generosity cannot be measured in terms of any mundane gauge.
Not all people do sacrifice on equal level. But the fact is that the majority of people are not in a mood to do any sacrifice for their fellow beings. Instead, they are looking for opportunities to increase their material possessions no matter if the method involves deception, fraudulence and unethical or immoral deals. Ideally, the wealthier one is better placed to serve the humanity. At least, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet of the United States of America have shown the way in this regard. Unfortunately, not many people follow their examples the world over.
At home, though, we have no Bill Gates but if we are to believe that the growth of the super rich with a net asset of no less than $ 30 million (more than 2,500 crore) is the fastest in this country, we may hope at least some of them will come forward to do charity on a large scale. What is saddening is that inequality in society is widening further with the rich getting richer and the poor marginally improving their lot. But these rich people will not share even a fraction of their fortune with their fellow brethren in order to lessen their hardship.
Admittedly, well-to-do people can do something for society from their respective positions if of course they have the mind to do so. Last week, the contemporary mentioned earlier carried in a report about two doctors -brother and sister -who visit a village near Keraniganj on the other side of the river Buriganga. The doctors duo conduct free medical camps on weekly holidays in order to reach the poorest of the poor who cannot see a doctor for want of medical fees. Not only do they treat patients free but also buy medicine for those who have no money.
When doctors on holidays leave the city to a nearby town or another city for extra income at their chambers there, this brother-sister team has decided otherwise. They will sacrifice such extra income and serve the poor. Unless one's heart melts for the wretched humanity, one cannot make such sacrifices. This is where man differs from animal in terms of generosity. If only people inculcated the virtue of compassion for the fellow human beings, society could not be such a hostile place to live in. Savagery and cruelty can be defeated by kindness and sympathy. Learning a lesson on creation of a comfort zone for neighbours and all whom we come across can make a difference in social norms and behaviour.